Chet Holmgren’s case for magic to draft him at No. 1 – The Mercury News

in the middle Top prospects in the NBA draftThere is no one more polarizing than Gonzaga’s former big man Chet Holmgren.

When speaking with personnel around the league, there is a high sense of certainty in former Duke forward Paolo Banchero and the types of players. Auburn forward Jabari Smith Jr. Will be on the next level.

There seems to be a more divergent opinion of Holmgren – mainly because players of his skill and size are rare.

“With caution, [there are] Skills a big guy doesn’t normally have,” Ryan Blake, who has helped direct scouting services for the NBA since 1996, said in a recent phone call with the Orlando Sentinel.

Holmgren’s combination of rim safety, defensive versatility, handles, touch near the rim, basketball IQ and floor-spacing ability for his size make him one of the more exclusive prospects in no time. There are beliefs that he could become the type of player who can excel at anchoring a defense while also being an offensive focal point.

At the same time, there are concerns about how Holmgren with his slim frame (7 feet, 190 pounds) will manage to have the NBA physicality on both ends of the floor and whether he will become the type of aggressive creator who usually has a top finish. Selections are expected.

The Magic should have a better idea of ​​the answers to those questions after their basketball operations leadership meets with Holmgren on Wednesday and Thursday ahead of the June 23 draft.

He Completed all pre-draft protocols with MagicA league source told the Orlando Sentinel, although the details of those protocols were not disclosed.

Infection was dominated by Holmgren, who according to Synergy accounted for 22.7% of his aggressive use (1.40 points per possession).

He has the ability to lead the fastbreak as a rim runner as well as as a ball handler, showing comfort in talking the ball from coast to coast or dragging the ball beyond the arc with precision.

Holmgren is a spot-up threat, a good cutter (1.46 points per right) and must serve as a role man in the pick and roll more often in the NBA than in college (8.5%). He made good decisions by stepping down as a passerby and moving in with Gonzaga.

Defensively, he is light enough on his feet to guard the perimeter, does a good job of staying vertical when countering shots and has the size/length (7-) to protect the rim even when he doesn’t block shots. ft-6 wingspan).

Joining an NBA team’s strength and conditioning program should make him stronger and improve as a self-creator. Whether he will make enough reforms in both areas to turn those concerns into strength remains to be seen.

Holmgren averaged 14.1 points (60.7% off the field – 73.7% on 2s, 39% on 3s), 9.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocks, and 1.9 assists in his lone season with the Bulldogs. He was named Second Team All-American and West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

His potential is clear.

And with his size and versatility on both ends, he will fit well into the Magic already and potentially help make them an elite defensive team because of his presence.

But Holmgren’s exclusivity has left uncertainty about the player he will become.

For Magic, that’s part of the job — presenting not only who the prospects are now as a basketball player, but who they will be.

,[Holmgren] Both ends of the floor could make a difference,” Blake said.[He] Can score and make… the game knows [and] Makes others better.”

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